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Film / Daredevil (2003)
aka: Daredevil

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When justice is blind, it knows no fear.

"Hell's Kitchen is my neighborhood. I prowl the rooftops and alleyways at night, watching from the darkness. Forever in darkness. A guardian devil."
Matt Murdock/Daredevil

Based on the comic series of the same name, Daredevil is a 2003 film about the story of Matt Murdock, lawyer and Catholic by day, vigilante hero by night. Young Matt is blinded by chemicals in a freak accident after seeing his father participating in a beatdown working for the mob. But soon, he and his father work together to better their lives, as Jack Murdock (David Keith) leaves his mob past and resurrects his boxing career while Matt learns how to live life blind, even as he copes with his other senses becoming incredibly heightened. However, his father is murdered as a result of a hit at the hands of mob hitman named Wilson Fisk, who will eventually rise to become a powerful crime lord...

As an adult in the corrupt, crime-ridden New York neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen, Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) works as a pro bono attorney to help those in need — and when he cannot find it in court, he finds other forms of justice as the costumed avenger known as Daredevil. He becomes mixed up with the beautiful Elektra Natchios (Jennifer Garner), whose father is a wealthy businessman who runs afoul of the city's Kingpin of crime. Things get messy when the Kingpin brings in his hired assassin, Bullseye (Colin Farrell, accent in full gear) — all accompanied with a lot of Evanescence and Seether on the soundtrack.


In part due to the character being more physically normal than other heroes, the movie aims to deconstruct the hyperactive fight scenes in films such as Spider-Man by showing how physically taxing a vigilante's life would be — Matt is covered in scars and regularly takes pain killers, and his superpowers never turn off. This film has a director's cut that features alternate versions of familiar scenes, and a restored subplot about Matt tracking down a chain of evidence to the Kingpin, resulting in a more proactive hero than originally shown.

The movie received a bit of a spin-off in the Elektra movie, carrying on from the film but not featuring Daredevil.

While Fox expressed plans for a sequel, the film rights for the property reverted back to Marvel in September 2012. A new Netflix series, which doubles as a Continuity Reboot, was released in April 2015 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ben Affleck would move on to play a different superhero - Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.


Previews: Trailer, Super Bowl Commercial

This film contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Elektra isn't flattered by Bullseye in the slightest. When he gives her a Wolf Whistle, she's visibly uncomfortable.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Downplayed, Elektra's black outfit exposes her cleavage but the zipper is just beneath it so it doesn't go to her naval, which is still exposed due to her top being short.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the comics, Elektra was an assassin for hire with a past romance with Matt Murdock that landed them the Dating Catwoman status, as well as working for the Kingpin and Bullseye's top rival. This film's interpretation instead has her motivations for fighting Daredevil and her death by Bullseye in a more sympathetic light, she only opposes Daredevil due to a misunderstanding. While she is an assassin in her spin-off film, she's still portrayed as this.
    • Same with her father. In the comics, Hugo Natchios (see Adaptation Name Change) was an abusive husband and father, implied that he molested Elektra as a little girl. While not much is seen of him in this film, it's implied Nikolas Natchios does care for his daughter, if a bit overprotective, having made her study with a different sensei since childhood to avoid making her a victim.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Every version of Kingpin is usually Affably Evil. This version is Faux Affably Evil, willing to kill one of his own men for no good reason and expresses the belief that "nobody is innocent".
  • Adaptational Nationality: Bullseye is from Ireland as opposed to The Bronx in the original comics.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Elektra had black hair and blue eyes in the comics. Jennifer Garner is a brunette and wears contacts to change her naturally brown eyes. However, instead of blue like the comics, they are green.
    • In the comics, Bullseye is blonde with blue eyes. Colin Farrell, though naturally with black hair, shaved his head and has brown eyes.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • Unless he's a different character altogether, Roscoe "Fixer" Sweeney is renamed Fallon.
    • Jack Murdock's boxing nickname is changed from "Battlin' Jack" to "The Devil".
    • Hugo Kostas Natchios is renamed Nicholas Natchios.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection:
    • The Kingpin of Crime is the man who killed Matt Murdock's father and set him on his vigilante career, rather than Slade, henchman of Roscoe "the Fixer" Sweeney, the Token Motivational Nemesis from in the comics.
    • Additionally, Elektra starts her own career after Bullseye kills her father, and he is her primary enemy in the film; in the comics, her father died in the crossfire of a botched hostage rescue attempt involving a SWAT team and some generic Western Terrorists.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Foggy Nelson, while still a good guy, is prone to greed and pettiness. Partially justified as their law firm is struggling money since Matt refuses to represent wealthy (but guilty) clients.
  • Adapted Out:
    • In the comics, Ben Urich, who is a supporting character in the Spider-Man books as well as Daredevil is a reporter for the Daily Bugle, is working for a different paper since the former film rights were owned by Sony.
    • Stick played no part in Matt's childhood, instead relied on self-training. Stick became Elektra's teacher instead.
  • All for Nothing:
    • After Elektra's father dies, Daredevil went to fight Bullseye in order to protect Elektra, only for Elektra to find him and, because he doesn't want to fight her, get stabbed in the shoulder by her. Because he was injured by the very person he tried to protect, he was unable to save her.
    • Elektra sees her father die and trains with her sai in order to avenge him and nearly killed her supposed murderer "Daredevil", who was actually her boyfriend and ends up immediately regretting it when she took off his mask. She is brutally murdered by Bullseye with the same weapon she aimed to kill him with.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Downplayed since Matt isn't much of a bad boy, but it seems that Elektra warmed up to Matt because he was able to match her in a fight when he was aggressively trying to learn her name, something most men would go to jail for. Averted with Bullseye, he can match her and is pretty blatant about being attracted to her, but he's also a murderous psychopath and killed her father.
  • Alliterative Name: Well, it is a Stan Lee adaptation.
  • Almost Kiss: While grabbing a weakened Elektra by the neck, Bullseye comes closer to kiss her, but she pushes away to avoid lip contact. When it looks like he's about to, he stops, only to smile and gut her with her own sai. Subverted in the Director's Cut, where he afterwards, he kisses her.
  • Amazon Chaser: Matt and Bullseye were both already attracted to Elektra physically, but her fighting prowess made her more exciting.
  • Amoral Attorney: Matt's partner Foggy is a humourous version as he doesn't mind taking on guilty clients for money.
  • And This Is for...: Matt says "This is for you, Dad" as he drops a rose in the front of the Olympic Theatre where he died.
  • Arc Words: "Stay. Stay with me." And "I'm not the bad guy."
  • Armor-Piercing Response: In the theatrical cut, Matt rants to Father Everett about his identity as Daredevil and asks if justice is a sin, he's clearly unprepared for the answer of "Vengeance is!"
  • Author Appeal: Mark Steven Johnson is a motorcycle enthusisast, so he included plenty of scenes featuring them and made Bullseye a Badass Biker.
  • Authority Equals Ass Kicking: Wilson Fisk turns out to be an elite warrior, giving Daredevil one of his most significant challenges in the movie.
  • Badass Boast: "Time to give the Devil his due"
  • Badass Bookworm: Matt works as a lawyer by day. Also, when he drops his report card after seeing his dad beat some poor guy down in the name of the mob, it shows straight A's.
  • Badass Longcoat: Bullseye sports a damn cool leather one.
  • Badass Normal: Elektra lacks superhuman abilities like Matt or Bullseye and is just a very well trained martial artist. Kingpin also counts.
  • Bald of Awesome: Ben Urich
  • Bald of Evil: Kingpin and Bullseye. Quesada, the rapist, is also bald.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Elektra's outfit she wears in her fights with Daredevil and Bullseye. It ends up being an opening for Bullseye.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Kingpin at the end. After initially Curb-Stomping a not-100% Daredevil, Kingpin laments not getting "to fight you in your prime." However, even a not-100% Daredevil is soon able to cripple Kingpin — leaving the audience (and probably Kingpin himself) wondering what Daredevil could've done without his recent injuries.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Even in her most brutal fight, with Bullseye, Elektra doesn't look at all bad. Her injuries, this includes the director's cut, include: Having her own sai stab through her hand, punched in the face, back broken, knocked into the floor, head slammed into metal, her neck cut from a playing card and is gutted by her own stab and yet not even any sweat, Bullseye still find her pretty enough to kiss.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Elektra doesn't like being followed or touched by men. In general she doesn't seem to like men hitting on her, especially someone like Bullseye.
    • Bullseye takes pride in his his inability to miss, so when Daredevil effortlessly dodges his attack, it gets personal.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Matt had to fight with Elektra before she was willing to give her name and go out with her.
    Matt: So does every guy have to go through all this? Just to find out your name?
    Elektra: You should try asking for my number!
  • Big Bad: Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin, is controlling all of the crime in the city. Bullseye, despite being the more active, is just working for him.
  • Big Bra to Fill: Jennifer Garner as Elektra.
  • Big "NO!": Daredevil, when Bullseye impales Elektra with her own sai.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Elektra, her father and their bodyguards speak in Greek among themselves at some points. Example: when they are leaving the party, she demands to know what is happening while the head bodyguard tells the others to be on the lookout for Fisk. Elektra's "Greek" accent is passable; her father's, not so much.
  • Blessed with Suck: Matt Murdock's hearing is so potent, he can hear everything in at least a block radius, which forces him to sleep in a sensory deprivation tank simply to blot out the noise. It also makes extremely loud noises and areas with lots of noise sources a Kryptonite Factor, and it results in him getting overloaded enough to get hit when he shouldn't have on multiple occasions, as well as forcing him to sometimes hit targets hard enough to temporarily cripple them just so that they don't escape him in the chaos.
  • Bloodstained Glass Windows: Daredevil and Bullseye face off in a church. And this would be a literal trope if Daredevil did not evade Bullseye's hurled shards of said glass windows.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: In a deleted scene later included on the Director's cut, Fisk kills one of his bodyguards by breaking his neck with one hand.
  • Book-Ends:
    • The beginning and end of the film takes place in the church.
    • Jack gets killed by Kingpin, who places a rose on him, at the Olympic Theatre. By the end of the film, Matt goes to the Olympic again as an adult and drops the rose to honor his father after he overpowers Kingpin.
  • Bond One-Liner: "Bullseye."
  • Brick Joke: Granted, there is a tiny window of time, but young Matt has two encounters with his bullies, once while seeing, and the other while blind.
  • Bring It: Young Matt stops his bullies once and for all, starting with the phrase, "Okay."
  • Brooklyn Rage: Both Matt from Hell's Kitchen and Kingpin from The Bronx qualify.
  • Capepunk: The film deconstructs a lot of elements found in comic book adaptions. Due to his vigilante lifestyle, Matt is in extreme pain from fighting, nurses multiple broken bones and nasty scars on his body, munches down painkillers regularly, and is frequently absent from work. His super senses mean that he needs a sensory deprivation tank to sleep, his refusal to handle guilty or dishonest clients means that his law firm is constantly struggling, and he is dealing with a wreck of a personal life. Which is to say nothing of the fact that the poor guy is so miserable and downbeaten by life he can barely muster the energy to keep going.
  • Car Cushion: Towards the end of the film, Daredevil throws Bullseye out the window, causing the latter to land on Ben's car.
  • Calling Card: The Kingpin's roses. This may be a Shout-Out to the Rose, one of his enforcers who was originally his son Richard.
  • Catch and Return: Bullseye catches Elektra's sai with ease. Elektra catching her sai back, not so much.
  • Ceiling Smash: During the final battle, Kingpin gorilla-presses Daredevil above his head and throws him into the ceiling.
  • The Cameo:
    • Kevin Smith makes a quick appearance as the man at the morgue; he wrote a Daredevil story arc in the comics.
    • A young and blind Matt Murdock prevents Stan Lee from getting hit by a car.
    • Frank Miller, who redefined the Daredevil character and whose run the movie took its inspiration from, appears as a guy killed by Bullseye with a pencil in his head.
  • Character Development: At the beginning, Matt was shown to be more than willing to let someone get killed, but after he winds up traumatizing a kid and having to go through what it would be like if he did end up killing someone whose loved one would try to avenge, he chose to spare Fisk's life.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Not so much a Chekhov's Skill, but rather a Chekhov's Loophole in Matt's Achilles' Heel. Early on, Matt reveals that he can see perfectly when he's in the middle of a rainstorm because of the multiple echoes from falling raindrops. In the final battle, he uses this to get the upper hand on Fisk.
  • Chest Insignia: This version retains the DD logo on Daredevil's suit.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: During his fight with Elektra, Bullseye takes an almost sexual pleasure from it, whether it's her hurting him or him hurting her (especially the latter).
  • Composite Character:
    • Elektra's back story and motivations have much more in common with Echo (another of Daredevil's martial artist love interests) than her comic namesake.
    • The Kingpin is combined with Sladenote , the hitman who killed Jack Murdock in the comics.
    • Being the boss of both Jack Murdock and the pre-Kingpin Fisk makes Fallon a composite of the Fixer and Don Rigoletto.
  • Confessional: In the theatrical cut, Father Everett refuses to give him absolution for sins committed as Daredevil, as he isn't truly repentant.
  • Crippling the Competition: Bullseye's hands are injured in the climactic battle with Daredevil, and he says, "You took away my hands! Show mercy!"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bullseye beats Elektra in a fight very easily, only getting a small cut to his face and one punch to the face.
  • Darker and Edgier: In the comics, Daredevil became this trope compared to a lot of other superheroes, especially under Frank Miller's tenure. In terms of movies, the Daredevil movie was certainly a Darker and Edgier take on superheroism compared to the previous year's Spider-Man. Reality Ensues a lot in terms of the injuries sustained by Matt and Elektra, and Daredevil's struggle against the entrenched power of the Kingpin is definitely very gritty and monumentally difficult.
    • Taken even further, even in a meta sense with the R-rated Director's Cut compared to the PG-13 Theatrical Cut. Even though the Director's Cut doesn't include the Matt/Elektra sex scene. Figure that one out.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Daredevil, despite his name and dark red outfit, is the hero of the story. Elektra herself wore black in her training scene and wears black leather in her fights with Daredevil and Bullseye, but she isn't a villainess.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ben Urich and Matt's law partner Foggy.
  • Death as Comedy: Bullseye kills a old lady on a flight simply for talking his ear off. This would be such a dick move if the manner he did it (ricocheting a peanut off the back of the seat in front of him into the woman's throat, posing her as asleep, then politely asking the flight attendant for more peanuts) wasn't so darn funny. Then again, Bullseye seems to think every death he causes is this trope.
    Kingpin: (seeing two of his guards dead) Was that really necessary?
    Bullseye: Necessary? No... but it was fun.
  • Death by Cameo: Hey, there's Frank Miller...falling to the ground dead with a pencil in his head!
  • Death by Origin Story: A notable subversion with the film's depiction of Matt's father, Jack Murdock. Not only does Jack survive long past the accident that gives Matt his powers, the incident actually brings the two of them closer together, with Matt's struggle to cope with his blindness inspiring Jack to be a better father, reignite his failing boxing career and quit drinking. It's only after we've gotten a chance to know Jack that he's killed for refusing to throw a fight, with his murder inspiring Matt to use his powers to fight crime.
  • Death Dealer: An ace of spades is one of the multitude of things Bullseye hurls in the film as a weapon.
  • Death Glare: Elektra gives one to Bullseye almost the entire time she's in the same scene with him, to the point where she doesn't even say a single word to him. Her most venomous is when he kisses her in the Director's Cut. Considering he's doing it while he's gutting her and what he did to her father, it's justified.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Both Matt and Elektra.
  • Demoted to Extra: Removing the murder case subplot in the theatrical cut means Coolio's role as Matt & Foggy's client was completely gone, Ellen Pompeo's role as Karen Page is reduced to a one scene walk-on, and the majority of Jon Favreau's screen time as Foggy Nelson (Including every scene where his name is mentioned) is cut from the film.
  • Destination Defenestration: Daredevil throws Bullseye through the church's stained glass window after a SWAT team member shoots through the latter's hands.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Unlike their actors in real life (until 2015 anyway), Matt and Elektra do not stay together due to Elektra getting gutted by Bullseye and then brought back to life in a sequel that never re-unites them.
  • Did You Actually Believe...?: Fallon says this to Matt's father, saying that Jack only won because his opponents threw their fights.
    Fallon: Did you really think you won all those fights on your own? You're forty-two years old! Miller, Mack, Bendis, they're all my fighters... just like you. And now it's your turn to take a fall. Think about your boy, Jack. I'm sure you'll do the right thing.
  • Disability Superpower: Although blind, Murdock can utilize his other (super-heightened) senses to help him fight crime.
    • Notable for examining this to its utter limit; Matt can smell on gun oil from across a room, hearing that can not only detect lies by heartbeats but act as sonar, kinesthetic reflexes on par with V's, touch that can act as an alternate sense of balance and even read handwriting via impressions in the paper... but he still has to fold the money in his wallet in idiosyncratic ways to determine denominations because it's stamped too flat. Not to mention the fact that he sleeps in a sensory deprivation tank, because as the Director's Cut shows, he "hears" everything as though it's happening right next to him.
  • Diedin Your Arms Tonight: after being stabbed by Bullseye, Elektra crawls over to daredevil and dies from her wounds this scene happens during nighttime too.
  • Disney Villain Death: Subverted with Bullseye towards the end of the film. He falls from a great distance only to hit Ben's car. At the end, he is hospitalized in a full body cast, very much alive.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: When Fisk feels someone has betrayed him, his policy is to kill that person and their whole family as well.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A rare dramatic example. After Matt and Elektra have their first kiss, Matt hears a carjacking in the background and tries to leave so he can intervene... then Elektra looks deep into his eyes and says "Stay with me". Cue sex scene. This only exists in the theatrical cut; Matt answers the call of duty in the director's cut.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bullseye and Elektra's fight was cut down due to violence towards women. When the film was released, many a forums suggested Bullseye's actions towards Elektra, constant smiling, enjoying the physical harm he causes and attempting to kiss her while holding her too close for her comfort, all make it seem like he wants to rape her.
  • The Dragon: Kingpin's hired gun, Bullseye. Kingpin was this to Fallon back in the day.
  • The Dreaded: In the Director's Cut, it's implied Bullseye is this and is why so many are afraid to rat out Wilson Fisk.
  • Dub Name Change: Bullseye was renamed "Mercenário" ("Mercenary") in Brazil and "Mecheniy" ("The Marked One") in Russia. Also, while his name was kept in Spain, his bullseye pun while pointing to his forehead branding was changed to the phonetically similar "pulsa aquí" ("press here", as in pressing a button).
  • Dude Magnet: Matt (when he uses his senses during the rain), Foggy, and Bullseye find Elektra very attractive. She's played by Jennifer Garner, after all, and her dialable sex appeal is on full display.
  • Easter Egg: Try and count how many Daredevil writers and artists get name-dropped, either as character names or background signs. Hell, the dude who gets run over by the train is named after Marvel's EIC!
  • Enemy to All Living Things: Not only are humans, from young to old to beautiful, are unsafe around him, but Bullseye also frightens a dog and a rat.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Downplayed. Fisk is more annoyed than anything when he find Bullseye killed one of his security guards unnecessarily. Bullseye himself also qualifies when he refuses to kill the priest Matt is friends with, instead settling for a "warning shot" to scare him away.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: In the Director's Cut where Bullseye is going through airport security, he gives a brief glance at a security dog, which whimpers in fear.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Bullseye finds his entertainment in the suffering of others. He laughs when he quips about killing one of Fisk's security guards. When he throws Elektra's sai back at her and it goes through her hand and she suffers for it, he laughs as though he made a humorous mistake. When Elektra is still trying to avoid being kissed by him while being gutted, he gives an amused grin before kissing her.
  • Evil Is Petty: In the Director's Cut, while kissing Elektra, Bullseye gives her a satisfied grin. When she doesn't return his kiss and gives him a Death Glare, his smile drops and he ends the kiss looking upset. The part where he yanks the sai he's gutted her with quickly, throws her away violently and wipe his mouth make it look like he's Not Good with Rejection and annoyed she would ruin his fun.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Kingpin is played by Michael Clarke Duncan.
  • Evil Virtues: Despite being the leader of a criminal organization and a former hitman for a mafia Don, Fisk still revels in the glory of personal combat and seeks to fight Daredevil in a fair duel after Daredevil defeats Bullseye. When he learns Daredevil is on the way to his headquarters, Fisk sends his guards home and takes him on singlehandedly. When it appears he is about to win the fight, Fisk says "It's a shame you came here wounded. I would have loved to fight you in your prime."
  • Failure Hero: Poor Elektra. All she achieves are injuring Daredevil, then a Curb-Stomp Battle from Bullseye (without even a Dying Moment of Awesome). But finally subverted in her own spinoff (though she still never gets a chance to pay Bullseye back).
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: In this version, Jack Murdock descended from boxing into being a small-time enforcer to pay the bills. He eventually reignited his boxing career after Matt's blindness.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Both of the villains.
    • Wilson Fisk acts like a respectful person when in public. When speaking with Elektra's father before Bullseye comes to kill him, he speaks to him in a rather friendly tone. Natchios, knowing Fisk full well, sees through this and tries to escape.
    • Bullseye, as shown with both Elektra and the flight attendant, attempts to act suave and flirtatious around women. His tone with Elektra, and even Daredevil, tends to be playful and calm, but barely hides how Ax-Crazy he is.
  • Fighting Irish: Matt is a native of the Irish-American neighbourhood Hell's Kitchen. His father Jack Murdock was a professional boxer (and secretly a mob enforcer). And of course there's Bullseye, who Castleknock-born Colin Farrell portrays with his native Irish accent, who is just completely Ax-Crazy.
  • Flaming Emblem: Matt apparently drew his famous overlapping "DD" emblem in gasoline and let it set at a crime scene, knowing that someone would flick a cigarette on the ground and set it off.
    • In his review of the movie, the Nostalgia Critic had a field day pointing out how this is not exactly the most obvious or safest calling card, even pointing out that when it's impossible to notice the gasoline on the floor, a subway rider waiting for a train while smoking would be in for a bad day if they dropped their joint.
  • Forceful Kiss: Bullseye on Elektra. Averted in the theatrical cut but played straight in the Director's Cut, see "Take That!" Kiss.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Matt fails to help a woman prove a man raped her in court due to Kingpin giving him a good lawyer and able to get off scot free until Matt shows up as Daredevil and takes him down. Later, he failed to save Elektra from Bullseye, only to avenge her later.
    • Wilson Fisk scoffs at Matt Murdock's insistence that he only protects the innocent, in that nobody is innocent. Their mutual dislike hints at what else he's done that Matt would hate and their eventual confrontation.
  • For the Evulz: Bullseye thrives on this trope for most of the film which officially begins with him first killing an old lady on plane merely because she annoys him. He later kills a guard at Fisk Corp and admits to Fisk it is not at all necessary, just fun.
    • In the Director's Cut, during Kingpin's first scene, he quickly invokes this trope by killing two of his bodyguards right out of the blue with no explanation given at all.
  • Freak Lab Accident: More like a freak chemical/forklift accident, but still...
  • Glass Weapon: During a fight between Daredevil and Bullseye in a Catholic church, Bullseye picks up the shards of a shattered stained-glass window and hurls them at Daredevil like throwing stars.
  • Gold Digger: Foggy advises Matt to marry Elektra as soon as Matt told him she's a billionaire's daughter.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: "Jose Quesada...the rest of Jose Quesada."
  • Hates Being Touched: Elektra informs Matt she doesn't like to be touched. When he reached for her hand, she tried to attack him. After their brief match, she's okay with him touching her. Other men? Not so much. One of her father's bodyguard put a hand on her shoulder and she immediately socked him in the face. During her fight with Bullseye, she looked feral when he punched her, but appeared uncomfortable when he grabbed her arm.
  • Hate Sink: Not our villains, ironically enough. Fisk shows some sense of respect in combat and respects Wesley's loyalty to him. Bullseye is hammy despite how violent he is with even Elektra. Quesada, the rapist who used Kingpin's connections to avoid justice, lacks either of those options that could exempt him from this. He gloats about how the woman he raped "enjoyed" it in a tone that didn't escape implications with Matt in the courthouse. His death was mourned by no one.
  • Head-Turning Beauty: Foggy and Bullseye both can't help but stare at Elektra when they first see her, Bullseye even giving off a Wolf Whistle. Matt has this same reaction when he's able to see her in the rain.
  • Held Gaze: An antagonistic example. After attempt to kiss her and before gutting her, Bullseye holds Elektra's face close to his. They look into each other for a brief moment, Elektra looking terrified while Bullseye is just enjoying his time with her.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather:
    • Dardevil's costume is crimson leather instead of the spandex seen in the comics, largely because Daredevil (Enhanced senses aside) is merely a Badass Normal & he would need the extra protection that spandex wouldn't provide.
    • Bullseye's wardrobe is predominantly black leather.
    • Elektra, when she sets out to avenge her father, wears a leather top & pants, as opposed to the bright red leotard seen in the comics.
  • Heroic Fatigue: We see the hero going through his before-bed routine, getting everything put away in just the right place, climbing into the sound-proof casket (necessary due to his super hearing), only for him to hear a woman somewhere nearby crying for help. He only lets out an exhausted sigh before slowly closing the casket to close out the sound.
  • Hollywood Healing: Subverted. Matt is often shown in noticeable pain from injuries and is shown popping his knee back into place towards the start.
  • Hollywood Hype Machine: The film is considered part of the series of films Affleck did that lost some of his momentum in his acting career.
  • Hollywood Law: The only scene of Matt actually acting as a lawyer that made it to the theatrical cut is of him seemingly seeking a conviction for a rape suspect. The catch? Matt Murdock is a defense attorney, a fact emphasized by the voluminous material that was restored in the director's cut. In real life, you may see a victim's advocate making submissions at sentencing in many jurisdictions, there's no way in hell that Matt would have been making arguments in court and getting annoyed that the defendant was acquitted. He could have been suing the guy in civil court for the rape, but even in that case he still wouldn't be on the defense side of things.
  • Homage: Daredevil's burning initials was an homage to another comic book movie, The Crow, which Mark Steven Johnson is a big fan of.
  • Honor Before Reason: One of Matt's defining traits. He's struggling financially because he refuses to represent wealthy clients who he knows to be guilty, but he often represents innocent people who are too poor to pay legal bills.
  • How We Got Here: The film starts with Daredevil bleeding and injured atop a church, and the next hour and a half brings us back to that point.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Daredevil can hear a gun preparing to fire...even a sniper rifle from across the street!
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Even though he was there to gut her, Bullseye seemed to act this way during his fight with Elektra, especially before doing so as he holds her and tries to lovingly (and mockingly) kiss her. While holding her, attempting the kiss, he even speaks to her in a loving manner. During his fight with Daredevil after killing her, he even reminisces about her for a brief moment. And in the Director's Cut he does kiss her, looking annoyed that she doesn't seem to enjoy it.
  • I'll Kill You!:
    Jose Quesada: I'll kill you! I'll kill you!
  • Impaled Palm: Three times:
    • When a SWAT team member shoots at Daredevil and Bullseye, Daredevil dodges and Bullseye's palms has holes in them from the resulting shot.
    • Elektra, during her fight with Bullseye she throws one of her sai at him, but he catches it and throws it back. She tries to catch it too but fail miserably
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Nikolas Natchios. Special mention must be made of the fact that this was done with Daredevil's folded billy club, which wasn't designed to penetrate anything. Elektra gets impaled by Bullseye with her own sai like in the comics.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Bullseye's schtick.
  • Improvised Weapon: Bullseye's other schtick. He can turn anything into a deadly weapon. And when we say "anything", we mean ''AN-NY-THIN-GUH''.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: We are given an explanation of Matt's abilities in the form of his chemical accident, but we never discover how Bullseye got his own superhuman skills or even what exact kind of power they are.
  • In Love with the Mark: Dowplayed and then defied. Bullseye is physically attracted to Elektra but it doesn't stop him from doing his duty of killing her.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Bullseye looks outright excited when Elektra cuts his cheek with her sai, finding her blind rage and desire to avenge her father attractive.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Quoth the Kingpin, "I was raised in the Bronx, Wesley. This is something you wouldn't understand."
  • Irish Priest: Father Everett is a priest at Matt Murdock's local church, and has an Irish accent as a result of being portrayed by Dubliner Derrick O'Connor.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • "I'm not the bad guy."
    • "Bullseye."
  • Irony:
    • Elektra tells Daredevil she wanted to look into the eyes of her father's killer as he dies. Instead, she looked into the eyes of her father's real killer, Bullseye, when he kills her. Her last moments of life are looking into Daredevil's, but because of his mask and blindness, he can't look back.
    • More meaningful in the Director's Cut. Elektra's first seen kiss in this movie is on a rooftop with Matt, who touches her with his right hand first, and leaves soon after. Her last kiss, albeit unwanted, is from Bullseye, on a rooftop, after he touches her, or grabs her neck, with his right hand first, while killing her and also leaves afterwards.
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: It starts to rain at the funeral of Elektra's father.
  • It's Personal: Matt's vendetta against Kingpin, and Bullseye's pursuit of Daredevil after the latter made him miss.
  • Karma Houdini: Fallon is never shown to have answered for any of his crimes, including the murder of Matt's father. While Fisk, who was the one who killed Jack under Fallon's orders, there is no mention of what became of Fallon afterwards and Matt seems solely focused on Fisk as the murderer of his father not the man who ordered the hit.
  • Kick the Dog: Bullseye gives a Wolf Whistle to Elektra before calling her "Orphan" and he kisses her as he stabs her with her sai after she desperately tries to avoid him doing so earlier.
  • Kiss Diss: When Bullseye grabs Elektra by the neck and holds her close, he tries to kiss her. Elektra pushes him away and moves away from his face each time his mouth comes close. Even as she's gutted, she tries to keep their faces apart, only for him to smile and kiss her. Justified, they aren't a couple, she doesn't share Bullseye's attraction to her and Bullseye killed her father and is sent to kill her.
  • Large Ham: Colin Farrell certainly enjoyed playing the hell out of Bullseye, that's for sure. His Bullseye chews up the scenery as if that's what Kingpin hired him for. Epitomized by his line: "ME HANDS! OH, YOU TOOK AWAY ME HAANDS!"
  • Large and in Charge: The Kingpin, of course!
  • Living Lie Detector: Matt Murdock listens to the heartbeat of people to deduce if a person is lying or not in his cases. In the director's cut, he takes on a client despite every sign pointing to him as the correct suspect, but his heartbeat confirms he's telling the truth about his innocence. Likewise, the person setting him up almost foils Murdock's method because he too has a steady heartbeat while telling his side in court...until Matt realizes he's on a pacemaker.
    • Which is a Continuity Nod to a Frank Miller story where Matt was duped into believing his client was innocent because he had a pacemaker.
  • Love at First Punch:
    • Elektra didn't have much of an interest in Matt until the two had a fight in a park, where she immediately takes a shine in the middle of it, especially when he encourages her not to hold back.
    • Downplayed example, Bullseye seems to show more of an attraction to Elektra when she slices his cheek with her sai.
  • Lust Object: Elektra quickly became one towards Bullseye the moment he saw her. He found her entertaining, attractive and even reminisces gutting her with a lustful sigh. Her hate for him didn't bother him one bit.
  • Male Gaze: Elektra Natchios, whenever she's in combat, has focus on her shapely body, mostly her rear. Her black leather outfit is so form-fitting that an in-universe moment even occurs. When Bullseye makes himself known to Elektra via Wolf Whistle, he's on the building behind her and staring down. It's likely he happened to be looking at her rear.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Bullseye's skills, whether he has some kind of ability that alters probability and proficiency in his favor or if he's just really skilled. Admittedly, this is the same movie where Jennifer Garner's character lacks any powers (at least until her spin-off) yet can jump to another rooftop without harm or leap several feet into the air. However, Bullseye himself is able to impale her father with Daredevil's club (which isn't sharp or strong enough to do so), lift Elektra (a full grown woman) by her neck and is strong enough to lift her in the air by gutting her.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • Played straight for Elektra and Bullseye. The film ditches their respective red and blue suits for black.
    • Daredevil is in his red costume, but it's darker brick-red instead of fire-engine red. And it's leather.
  • Ms. Fanservice: It is Jennifer Garner in black leather!
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: In order to justify How We Got Here as Matt is injured in the church.
    Matt: They say your whole life flashes before your eyes when you die. And it's true, even for a blind man.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The rapist Daredevil deals with at the start of the movie is named Jose Quesada.
    • Most any time a name is being dropped in this movie that isn't a comic character, it's the name of a creator who worked on Daredevil. For example, the pathologist played by Kevin Smith is named Kirby.
    • Stan Lee's cameo has him be saved from getting hit by a car by young (blind) Matt. In the comics, Matt's blindness was the result of saving a blind old man from being run over by the truck carrying the chemicals.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Elektra assaulting Daredevil under the mistaken belief he murdered her father made him unable to help her fight Bullseye. She ends up too enraged and unfocused and is killed with little damage to her opponent.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Matt Murdock's senses allow him to "see" his environment in a sonar-esque filter.
  • No-Sell: Matt unleashes a brutal attack of swift punches to Kingpin's face but it does nothing except give him a bloody mouth and make him even angrier.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: During their battle, Bullseye is continually trying to get close to Elektra. As he starts winning the fight, Bullseye grabs Elektra by the neck and lifts her up. He then decides to kiss her. Not reciprocating the idea, Elektra pushes him away and pulls her head away whenever he gets close. Regardless, Bullseye remains far too close for her comfort as he keeps their faces close to enough to almost kiss her.
  • Nothing Personal: Kingpin's view. When asked why he killed Matt's father, his response is "Business. That's all it ever is, business.".
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Daredevil, Elektra, and Bullseye jump and fall great distances with no effects.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Matt and Elektra's sparring match in the park. Both of them, more notably Elektra, look more and more excited as the fight goes on, complete with panting. Her fight Bullseye, despite clearly not being interested in him in that way, evokes this, with a lot of heavy breathing on both their parts and Bullseye himself clearly taking deep joy from it. Later in the film, when he mentions Elektra after killing her, Bullseye has a lustful sigh and shakes his head as though he's still fixated on her.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite killing people for less, Bullseye goes out of his way to let the priest off with a warning shot before crossing himself when he enters the church for his final showdown with Matt.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Jon Favreau as Foggy Nelson.
  • Precision F-Strike: The original line, removed from the theatrical release and intact in the director's cut, is "I want a fucking costume!"
  • Predecessor Villain: Fallon, Fisk's one-time employer, and, at the time, the largest crime boss in Hell's Kitchen. He's long out of the picture by the time the film starts, but his influence on Fisk (and Matt, who's father he had killed) remains.
  • Pro Bono Barter: Matt Murdock regularly accepts gifts, instead of money, for payment from impoverished clients, much to the dismay of Foggy Nelson.
  • Psycho for Hire: Bullseye is the sadistic madman Fisk hires when he needs someone dead.
  • Race Lift: Completely justified as Michael Clarke Duncan is about as commanding an acting presence as can be while fitting the required size and stature of Kingpin. Interestingly, the Kingpin was originally envisioned as black when conceived for the comics, but at the time Marvel worried that it would be considered racist to make him black.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Although Daredevil has no qualms dispatching of criminals rather than sending them to the big house, the only criminal he actually leaves dead is, you guessed it, a rapist.
    • Subverted. Quesada was just unfortunate enough to be the last bad guy Matt came across before deciding Thou Shall Not Kill; that he was a rapist was less important than he was an utter bastard. Matt actually tries to kill Bullseye later as well, but its later revealed that he survived.
      • Also, it seemed an act of desperation: he was able to trash an entire bar-full of goons, but had to hit Quesada so hard he can't walk away because his senses were overwhelmed by the incoming subway train.
  • Reality Ensues: Much of the beginning of the film delves into how a superhero would probably live in real life; Matt has scars all over his body, is on pain medication, his sense-enhancing powers make sleeping difficult, and he has a shambled ruin of a personal life. Special mention is made in the commentary and Matt is a man "who really doesn't have long to live" if his vigilante activities keep up they way they do.
    • The trope also comes into play in horrifying detail with Elektra. Her father dies and she goes into vengeance mode, training like a maniac for her big chance to get revenge. Then, on her first night out she tries to pick a fight with Bullseye and gets stabbed in the hand, injured in the neck, stabbed to death gruesomely, and then tossed off the roof like nothing. Yikes.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Rather than listen to Matt when he instructs her to run or help him seek medical help from the stab wound she inflicted, Elektra chooses to try and murder Bullseye for killing her father, but her blind rage kept her from winning a fight she could have won.
  • Run the Gauntlet: In succession, Daredevil has to fight Elektra, Bullseye, and then Kingpin in a matter of hours in the third act, and takes an ass-whooping in all of them, leaving him visibly fatigued and injured as he moves to the next.
  • Save the Villain: Matt does not kill the Kingpin in the end.
  • Scary Black Man: Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Ben Urich eventually becomes this in the end. In the theatrical release, he's also a Secret Secret-Keeper; in the Director's Cut, he confronts Matt about it.
    • Father Everett as well from almost the very beginning, and a reluctant one too.
  • Sensory Overload: Bullseye clangs together giant organ pipes to overwhelm Matt Murdock's senses and render him helpless for moments.
  • Sex Is Violence: Elektra and Bullseye seem to have a thing for people who can match them in a fight. During her sparring match with Matt, when Elektra is told not to hold back, she smiles and starts to enjoy the fight. Bullseye, in a more violent match with Elektra, is clearly smiling the entire time as though aroused by her fighting prowess. Unlike with Matt, Elektra isn't enjoying the match at all.
  • Shipper on Deck: While he jokes that marrying Elektra would get him rich, Foggy supports Matt's relationship with her.
  • Shout-Out: Several shots and dialogue are taken directly from the comics.
    • Also, near the beginning of the film, Fallon mentions 3 fighters that Jack Murdock defeated named Miller, Mack, and Bendis, all three named after people who wrote on the Daredevil comic, and later, we see that the man Jack defeated that night was named John Romita, a name shared with an artist who briefly worked on Daredevil.
    • A criminal that DD hunts down in the beginning of the film is name Jose Quesada. JOE Quesada also did work on the series.
    • Kevin Smith's character is name Jack Kirby.
    • And then there's "Mr. Lee", the client who pays his legal bills with fish.
    • When asked about cuts, Matt says that he is in a Fight Club to which Foggy says he has never seen the film.
    • Matt is essentially Atticus Finch if he moonlighted as a superhero. The first scene of the movie has him futilely standing up for justice in a rape trial, and he often accepts random gifts from impoverished clients in lieu of cash.
    • Early on Jack Murdock says he once beat a fighter by the name of Colan. Gene Colan drew Daredevil from September 1966 to June 1973 (making his run the first of the many long runs the character is known for) and Daredevil is often considered his signature character.
  • Shower of Angst: Matt takes a brief Shower of Angst after a night of vigilantism. While showering, he pulls a broken tooth out of his mouth.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Bullseye begs for mercy, Daredevil ends up throwing him out of a stained glass window.
  • Silent Treatment: Elektra never says a single word to Bullseye. All she does is glare with the intent to kill.
  • Slasher Smile: Bullseye's default expression whenever he's on the kill.
  • The Sociopath: Both our villains.
    • Wilson Fisk firmly believes nobody is innocent, and is willing to kill even an old friend and his daughter for wanting out. When asked why he does such things, he simply responds that it's just business. Given how he can interact with people very easily, he appears to be a high-functioning sociopath.
    • Bullseye can't go one scene without killing someone. He murders an old woman just for being annoying and afterwards casually flirts with the flight attendant while asking for more peanuts. Add to that, he takes pleasure from hurting people, and looking blissful while assaulting Elektra. Her blind rage and pain actually delights him and he's annoyed when she glares at him for kissing her. He comes off as a low-functioning sociopath.
  • Soft Glass: Averted. After being thrown through an already cracked window, Bullseye lands on a windshield on Urich's car which doesn't break. Later on, the massively built Kingpin throws Matt full force at a window which only cracks but doesn't break.
  • Spandex, Latex, or Leather: Leather for everyone!
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Matt's ex-girlfriend Heather Glenn (the one on the phone) was spared from her suicide in the comics.
  • The Stinger: Bullseye incapacitated in the hospital, but still able to kill a fly. In the theatrical cut, anyway; the director's cut places it during Matt's closing monologue as he laments that evil will never die.
  • Super Senses: Daredevil uses his other senses to make up for his missing eyesight.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Averted and played straight depending on what cut you're watching. Bullseye goes to kiss Elektra but simply kills her in the theatrical version, but does plant one on her while running her through with her sai in the director's cut.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Because he likes to mess with her and knows his obvious interest sickens her, Bullseye calls Elektra "Baby" right before slitting her neck with a playing card, gutting her and, depending on what version you watch, kiss her.
  • That's What I Would Do: How Fisk knows that Daredevil will be coming for him next, now that Bullseye is down.
  • They Just Don't Get It: Fisk has Wesley send away his guards after he learns about Bullseye's failure, intending to deal with Daredevil himself. When Wesley tries to interject, Fisk points out Wesley wouldn't understand, as he didn't grow up in the Bronx.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Matt battles this as part of his double life.
  • Throwing the Fight: Why a hit is put on Matt Murdock's father, who refused to take a dive.
  • Thwarted Coup de Grâce: Towards the end of the film, Bullseye uses an improvised spear in an attempt to kill Daredevil.
  • The Tragic Rose: The Kingpin's calling card for his victims. He left a rose when he committed a murder for Fallon, he gives Nikolas Natchios a rose, but he seems aware of what he's planning and leaves but is murdered by Bullseye and gives Bullseye a rose to give to Elektra, though not for romantic reasons. After he defeats Elektra, Bullseye tosses the rose to her.
  • Unbuilt Trope: Though it's certainly not the first superhero film, Daredevil actually deconstructed many aspects of superhero stories back in 2003, when the 2000s superhero movie craze was still in its infancy. It also may be the first movie ever to try the "gritty and realistic" approach to superhero films that Batman Begins is often credited with starting. Aside from the costumes, it's essentially a gritty crime drama about an all too human vigilante whose constant injuries from fighting criminals have left him covered in scars and dependent on painkillers, it fully examines the implications of the hero's typical Honor Before Reason mentality (showing us that Matt Murdock's idealism has left his legal practice struggling because he refuses to represent wealthy clients who he knows to be guilty), and it ends with a Pyrrhic Victory, as Matt puts the Kingpin behind bars (fully aware that he'll be freed soon) but fails to save his love interest.
  • Undignified Death: Elektra, a skilled martial artist in her own right, is killed off in an otherwise embarrassing manner. Bullseye takes advantage of her anger, allowing him to knock her down and gut her with her own weapon while stealing a kiss before tossing her impaled body aside.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Elektra never realizes her attempting to kill Daredevil was assisting the real men responsible for her father's death in killing her as well.
  • Vapor Wear: It's clear that in her black leather outfit that Elektra isn't wearing a bra. It's probably no wonder Bullseye gives her a Wolf Whistle.
  • Vigilante Execution: In the opening minutes of the film, Daredevil kills an alleged rapist after failing to convict him in court.
  • Vigilante Man: Daredevil, if it weren't obvious.
  • Villainous Crush: Downplayed, it doesn't stop him from killing her, but Bullseye seems to have one for Elektra. He wolf whistle at her, calls her "baby", tries to kiss her and when he mentions gutting her he gives a lustful sigh.
  • Villain Respect: The closest to nice Bullseye ever gets is compliment Elektra upon defeating her, but he still rubs it in he's better than her.
  • Villains Want Mercy: When Bullseye's hands get shot, he asks Daredevil for mercy. He ends up being thrown out of the church's stained glass window and falls onto Ben's car.
  • Wastebasket Ball: Foggy fails at tossing one in, although he tries to get one over on Matt by announcing "swoosh" after a miss. Of course, the blind Murdock makes it off to the side without turning in the direction of the basket.
  • We Have Reserves: Fisk isn't particularly bothered when Bullseye kills two of his guards for fun, indicating this is the case. The director's cut makes it more apparent, as Fisk's Establishing Character Moment has him kill two of his guards himself.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The one main thing that seems to render Daredevil incapacitated, however briefly, is loud noise, even from everyday occurances such as loud trains and organ pipes.
  • Wham Episode: Similar to an event in the comics but unexpected in the movie, Elektra is killed a bit more than halfway through the movie when she tries to fight Bullseye.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Matt chooses not to kill Kingpin. When asked why, he replies "I'm not the bad guy." The line itself is an Ironic Echo to a line he says after he'd beaten up a crook in Hell's Kitchen only to find out that crook was a father, and he had been beating him up with his child present, while claiming he wasn't the bad guy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After fighting Daredevil, Bullseye vehemently tells Kingpin: "I want a bloody costume!" Yet in the next scene... he has no costume. Nor does he ever get one. Nor is it ever brought up again.
  • Wolf Whistle: Bullseye does this to Elektra once they meet. Both to address an attraction towards her and to disturb her that her father's murderer, and about to be her murderer is hitting on her.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Bullseye does not pull any punches with Elektra. If anything, he takes some sexual pleasure from it.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Daredevil goes to confront Kingpin after taking a beating in his fight with Bullseye. Everett actually tells him this before his fight with Bullseye after his injuries sustained fighting Elektra.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: While they're fighting, Daredevil tells Elektra that he's innocent, Kingpin had her father killed. Elektra doesn't believe him, until she pulls off his mask, and is soon confronted by the real killer.
  • You Got Spunk: Upon defeating Elektra, Bullseye compliments her fighting prowess and goes "You're good, Baby. I'll give you that." Not enough to not kill her though.
  • You Killed My Father:
    • The pre-Kingpin Wilson Fisk killed Daredevil's father whilst he was still an enforcer for Fallow. Matt remains unaware of the Kingpin's involvement until Bullseye reveals the red rose calling card is Fisk's thing.
    • Bullesye kills Elektra's father using Daredevil's billy club, and she subsequently believes that it was Daredevil.
  • Zorro Mark: Matt leaves his insignia written on the ground in oil at the scene of one of his fights. It proves very convenient for a reporter being told that there's no proof his "so-called Daredevil" was involved - one thrown cigarette later...

Alternative Title(s): Daredevil


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